UPMC-Led ISMETT Supports Vaccination Efforts in Sicily

By: Francesca Valagussa

The Region of Sicily recently chose UPMC-managed ISMETT, located in Palermo, Italy, to support its vaccination campaign, which begins with senior citizens over the age of 80.

Angela Zaffuto receives ISMETT’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

To back the effort, which started this week, a dedicated vaccination area was built outside the transplant and high-specialty hospital. ISMETT’s 15-member vaccination team will administer doses six days a week, with the ability to administer 100 vaccinations per day.

Angela Zaffuto, 80, of Palermo, was the first person to receive the vaccine at ISMETT. “I took this opportunity immediately, and I was looking forward to it. Now, I feel safer,” she said.

The hospital, which has provided the region with world-class care for more than two decades, is a public-private partnership between UPMC and the Region of Sicily.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have been busy vaccinating our health care workers to ensure their safety. Elderly people are the most vulnerable to infection, so it was crucial to start vaccinating them,” said ISMETT’s director, Dr. Angelo Luca. “ISMETT staff showed an incredible commitment to this effort. I want to thank them for their dedication.”

Luca hopes to start the second phase of the region’s vaccination campaign – for transplant recipients and candidates – as soon as possible.